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Using the SDGs as a compass for the Belgian development cooperation


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have changed the framework in which development cooperation works. Belgium, as a donor of development cooperation, is committed to contributing to realizing those ambitious goals. The Belgian Development Cooperation therefore has decided to use the SDGs as building blocks, making the SDGs the compass that provides the overall orientation of the efforts towards a comprehensive Belgian development effort. The Belgian development cooperation is still adapting to the new setting, and now wants to internalize and mainstream the SDGs. Changing the way from retrofitting the SDGs to the Belgian development cooperation, towards the use of the SDGs as the basis for our policies is the main challenge this research project needs to address.

The first year of the project allowed the research team to 1) map and explore current practices relating to the SDGs in the Belgian landscape; 2) assess the extent to which policies are aligned to the 2030 agenda; 3) assess the extent to which SDGs are used in in M&E; 4) confront the insights from this assessment in Belgium with practices in the field (Uganda and Benin; and finally 5) identify and develop strategic frameworks and tools that can support SDG integration in the different Belgian cooperation channels.


The prolongation of the SPR-SDG project in 2020 has the following main objectives:

  • To support and inform the decision making process by DGD regarding SDG integration through tailored capacity development and awareness raising around the findings of the research and the facilitation of consultations with different development actors.
  • To support the integration of SDG principles in the programme cycle as well as the operationalization of SDG monitoring and reporting frameworks through the development of practical guidelines, analytic frameworks and tools, collaborative action research and tailored capacity development

Intervention type

Policy Supporting Research (2019-2021)


01/01/2020 - 31/03/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Huib Huyse
Local partner institution KU Leuven
visit www.kuleuven.be
Other Flemish Partners Universiteit Antwerpen
visit www.uantwerpen.be
Budget € 156.500